Social Justice In The Book Of Micah
Social justice is justice that is exercised within a society and in particular it is to be exercised among and by the various social classes in society. A society that is socially just is one that has advocacy and practices that are based on principles of solidarity and equality. Social justice also requires that a just society is one that understands and values human rights and upholding dignities of human beings. Most people suffer because of social injustices; wealth and resources are based on inequality, racism as well as wars. The social injustices are not just personal failings but as a result of social structures that have created losers and winners within the society. The sin of social injustice is repeated by many prophets in the bible including Micah who emphasize on how the underclass are neglected and this are for instance widows, orphans, foreigners and so on.
This paper will therefore look at a biblical correlation of the issue of social justice from the book of Micah as well as the interpretation of social justice on a personal application. The book of Micah specifies some specific sins that God rebuked his people this are both vertical as well as horizontal. Vertical sins are those that deal with people’s direct relationship with God while horizontal sins are those that deal with how people relate to others .among the vertical sins that Micah rebuked are idolatry; the people of Samaria were rebuked for their worship of idols (Bratcher, 2011).The prophets of the time of Micah also accepted money for their oracles this was an outright indication of idol worship. The horizontal sins were; internal corruption that was seen among the leaders of the nation, this included priests, prophets, judges and other rulers. Among their corrupt acts were lies, hypocrisy, bribery, robbery and greed. Micah also saw the people’s unfaithfulness and the fact that they lacked a sense of social justice and through this fact they were prevented from hearing the message of God. The people were guilty of deceit and dishonesty; they used false weights and measures which was advantageous to them. Those who were wealthy used violence so that they could advance their plans to continue gaining unjustly. It is clearly evident from the book of Micah that God does not fail to notice how we treat one another (Garcia, 2011).
People’s vertical relationship has a great impact on their horizontal relationship. God requires people to do justice this implies that they are meant to set the wrong things right and always do the right thing; they should be fair and honest between themselves. God also requires his people to practice faithful love or love kindness. People are expected by God to love others even in situations that people have done nothing to warrant them being loved. God expects people to love others just as God loves his people. God also expects his people to walk humbly with him this means that they are expected to submit to the will of God. A person that practices justice and love faithfully can walk humbly with God. From the book of Micah we see how the people behaved and lived. Their actions all go against God’s will and the covenant with them; the covenant was conditional which implied that God will directly bless those who obey him and curse those who disobey him. In the book of Micah there are reminders of the conditions that had been set by God when he made promises to Abraham, the directions he had given to Israel through Moses and finally the fact that God requires them to fear him, walk in his ways as well as serve him. Therefore, their actions are a direct disobedience to what was expected to them by God (Garcia, 2011).
An individual’s relationship with God directly impacts one’s treatment of others this means that anyone whose relationship with God is firm will be willing to walk humbly with God and therefore do what his will requires. Therefore, they will do justice to everyone; they would love one another and treat people kindly. Therefore, people who obey God will love mercy and act according to what mercy requires of them which include kindness, benevolence and charity. They will also act justly by giving people what is justly theirs (Dillinger, 2004). Micah’s message was not only relevant to Israel but it is also relevant to Christians today; most of the political, religious and business leaders are still committing the same sins as the Israelites. Today Christians are guilty of spiritual idolatry and most of them worship other things or people apart from God. They make up lies in exchange for God’s truth. According to Micah, the solution to all social ills that include economic injustice as well as moral degradation is only for people to turn back to God and hi word of truth. If only leaders and ordinary people love God and neighbors then the society will be a better place with no form of social injustice in existence. God is concerned with the weak either physically or social economically and therefore he expects us as Christians to help and defend such people.
Currently there are various underclass people and in particular the number of homeless people has been rising at a rate that is quite alarming. There are various ways that in can show God’s love to the homeless. First I can share food with them since they might not be in a position to obtain food. Secondly I can try to enroll them in institutions that offer shelters to the homeless and ensure that they are considered when allocations are done. Finally I can go spend time with them so that they do not feel left out or rejected in any way by the society.
Bratcher, D. (2011). The Book of Micah. Retrieved February 11, 2013 from http://www.crivoice.org/books/micah.htmlDillinger, C. (2004). What Does the Lord Require? (Micah 6:8)
Retrieved February 11, 2013 from http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-micah-6-8.htmGarcia, C, O. (2011).Bible Teaching Notes. Retrieved February 11, 2013 from http://www.bibleteachingnotes.com/templates/System/details.asp?id=29183&fetch=8025